October 4, 2012

Adirondacks-to-Caribbean artist


---- — SARANAC LAKE — Ursula Wyatt Trudeau’s “? A Little on the Wild Side ?” opens Friday at the Adirondack Artists’ Guild.

The Montreal-born-and-educated artist wintered in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. There, she painted away; acrylics mostly of carnival motifs.

“I have an agent who handles it down there,” said Trudeau, who lives in Saranac Lake. “I don’t have my current work from there the past year because they are down there. Maybe, they are gone.”

Her work is exhibited in Bamboula, a boutique and gallery located within Mongoose Junction.

“The owner has been living in the Caribbean a long, long time and has an interesting store and has a collection of things from all over the world,” she said. “I have been with her a little while.”

Trudeau studied art at the Montreal Ecole des Beaux Arts. She studied painting with the late Hans Hofmann, Stanley Cosgrove and Alfred Pellan. 

She was a freelance-commercial artist working in visualization, fashion illustration, hand-painted billboards, theatrical and television costume and set design, and window displays. She also did children’s portraiture and taught children’s art classes and textile design.

The latest exhibit comprises a mix of Trudeau’s landscapes; miniatures; and her usual collection of critters, furred and feathered.

“My dog is immortalized in one of them,” she said.

Though she paints in acrylic, she plans to return to oil.

“What I really loved in the first place,” she said. “It was too hard down in the islands to get supplies. Sometimes it was good, and sometimes it was bad. Acrylic has its advantages. It dries quickly.”

Her new exhibition also features linear work in black and white.

“I have Adirondack interiors, kind of fanciful. They are imagined Adirondack interiors. They have a fireplace and an animal beside the rug,” Trudeau said.

She just picked up work from a show in Old Forge. On this day, she was problem solving her framing dilemma.

“Generally, I don’t (frame pictures). It’s too time consuming. Here, it’s not so easy. For the little pictures, I often buy a frame and redo it.”

The exhibition features a few miniature still lifes on cigar boxes.

“I have been collecting them a long time,” Trudeau said of the boxes. “I put a hole in them and hang them on a nail. The beauty of old cigar boxes, I don’t have a good source anymore. I used to buy them in the Caribbean. The lady running that store is not doing that anymore. They are very decorative. They are Cuban or whatever. They make a very lightweight thing.”

She’s overdue for gallery hopping in New York City. The last shows she viewed were Van Gogh and something on furniture at the Metropolitan.

She’s at work on a website, but she’s having technical glitches with her Apple.

“No one wanted to work with an Apple,” Trudeau said.

Cyber patrons today are as key as studio-visiting patrons of old. “I’m back in the 18th century,” she said.

Email Robin Caudell:



WHAT: "? A Little on the Wild Side ?"

WHEN: Opening reception 5 to 7 p.m. Friday.

WHERE: Adirondack Artists' Guild, 52 Main St., Saranac Lake.

PHONE: 891-2615.